Tristana Germán Gullón

ISBN: 9788467021103



316 pages


Tristana  by  Germán Gullón

Tristana by Germán Gullón
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 316 pages | ISBN: 9788467021103 | 7.29 Mb

This novel of a woman struggling to free herself from her confining domestic status consists mainly of the protagonists introspections. Galdos examines the theme of liberty and seems to conclude, perhaps with some disillusionment at the results of the Revolution of 1868, that the individual is responsible for his or her own actions and achievement of personal freedom- by implication, he rejects the idea of collective social responsibility.

The evolution in Tristanas understanding of freedom -- from her initial simple desire for personal independence to spiritual aspiration -- and the rejection of social and moral norms on the part of her foil, Don Lope, allow Galdos to explore various conceptions of liberty and their relationship to other important social and religious questions of the day.Galdos style is ornate and figurative.

He uses allusions to mythology, literature, and the arts to convey the manner in which the characters are trapped by culture and history. Tristana describes her situation through references to other doomed lovers, such as Dantes Francesca and the the unfortunate lover/victims of Don Juan, whose role is assigned to the aging Don Lope. Through Tristana, Galdos expresses an almost inevitable sense of the helplessness of these figures, and of his own characters, to escape from inherited social and cultural forces.

Even Horacio, the artist who disregards conventional morality by taking Tristana as his lover, remains bound by the desire for conformity. He prefers to share her favors with another man than to face the ostracism of elopement:Oyo Diaz estas cosas con indignacion primero, con asombro despues, y lo unico que se le ocurrio decir a su amaba fue que romper cuanto antes aquellas nefandas relaciones, a lo que contesto la nina muy acongojado que era esto mas facil de decir que de practicar...

Con todo, fuerza era dar un gran tiron para arrancarse de tan ignominiosa y antipatica vida.Horacios proclaimed liberation from social mores reveals itself to be far weaker than his fear of societys disapproval, which constrains him even thought he does not believe in its moral validity.This is just one example of Galdos interest in contemporary changes in or doubts concerning religion. For Tristana, the arts supplant the role of conventional Christianity.

She becomes obsessed in turn with painting, theater, literature, and music- throughout the course of the novel these arts become increasingly central to her concerns, with human relationships undergoing a corresponding devaluation. Indeed, even life with Horacio appeals most strongly to her when he presents it in artistic terms, describing their future rural abode as if it were a painting.

When Tristanas interest moves from painting to music, The painter Horacio also loses his place in her affections. Tristanas artistic yearnings are not meant to show her natural inclination for art, but rather her unfulfilled need for a higher spiritual meaning.

This need was shared by many of Galdos contemporaries, educated men who could no longer reconcile their Christian faith with the evidence of reason and science, but who also rejected the spiritual and emotional emptiness of materialism. Many of these individuals turned to philosophical systems to provide an ethical base.The general zeitgeist of uncertainty and flux caused by the social, political and intellectual changes occurring in Spain at this time is reflected by the changes in the opinions and goals of the characters throughout the course of the novel. Aside from Tristana, this is most overtly manifested in Don Lope, her guardian and suitor, who begins the story filled with confidence in his social and sexual position.

At the beginning this patriarchal Don Juan possesses absolute control over his wards actions, and to a great extent even controls her thoughts. For the first half of the novel he is certain that she and everything else in his life will behave exactly as he commands. Only during Tristanas severe illness and subsequent refusal to continue her role as his mistress does he being to be uncertain of his ability to regain her. At this point his treatment of her becomes kinder and more respectful, as he is forced to take her wishes and thoughts into account.

After her recovery and their marriage he returns to a considerable degree to his paternal stance and earlier egoism, but their relationships retains some equality due to his realization that he is no longer young and could end his life alone and uncared-for. This personal fear returns him to the social fold as a married church-goer.This aspect of the novel is clearly influenced by contemporary changes in gender relations, which, in Spain as elsewhere, were being challenged by increasing demands for womens liberation.

The protagonists situation illustrates the plight of women who have no male defenders to provide for them or protect their virtue. Not only is Tristana forced to become Lopes mistress, but once placed in this spiritually destructive position, she quickly loses her concern for her virtue and embarks on an affair with a second man -- a man who also belittles her burgeoning intellectual interests and attempts to reposition her the mandated domestic role.The book ends ambiguously with the question, Eran felices uno y otro? ...Tal vez. This ambiguity may reflect Galdos feelings toward the revolutionary project of his Generation of 1868, which, like Tristanas desires, went through rapid changes without achieving a clear success in its goal of delivering a new social order.

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